The Second Wife of a Saudi – She too Feels Pain

So she’s a second wife? She probably knew what she was getting in to then entering into a relationship with a man who already had commitments such as another wife and a family. Most individuals likely refer to her as a homewrecker and wonder why she could not cast her net out for a single man. But you might be surprised…she too has her own story, circumstances and yes, even pain.


Following typical tradition she met him when he was outside of the Kingdom, by himself, without a sign or hint of another romantic interest, let alone a wife and family. And oh how a Saudi man can charm…he courted her and charmed her off of her feet. She was confident she had found her Prince Charming and when he proposed whizzing her off on his Magic Carpet to the Magic Kingdom she was ecstatic and could not wait. Her family were concerned she was going to be so far away but at the same time pleased she had found happiness.


The bubble burst though a few months after she arrived in the Kingdom when she learned she was not the only one. He claimed that she was the love of his life as well as the wife in his life. After all, the other wife…the first…was “only” the mother of the children and therefore in that capacity should be respected and therefore no divorce. Are you surprised to learn that she felt devastated and as if her whole world had shattered? Her self-esteem, confidence and sense of self-worth were lost. She continually questions herself on how could she have been so blind and so clueless. She feels ashamed and deplores the stigma of being referred to as “that second wife…that Western homewrecker who destroyed a beautiful Saudi family.”


Of course the relationship with her Saudi husband has suffered and continues to suffer. She described it as a continual roller coaster that feels like it has gone off-track. She is resentful of her spouse for his deception. After all, she did not knowingly choose nor accept to be a second wife. Ironically she still professes to have feelings of love for her husband although she wishes she could turn it off as easily as a light switch. She is not optimistic of a future with her Saudi husband. This series of events certainly jaded her once positive views of the Kingdom and its people as well.


When these details were provided to me and I was asked to share them through my blog, I initially resisted. However she was quite insistent that her view and experience be told, especially as a warning to other foreign women who are involved with a Saudi who is outside of the Kingdom. That is not to say or imply all Saudi men are unscrupulous but at the same time, it reiterates and reinforces the need to know the individual to whom one plans to merge their life. Know his background, his circumstances and ideally, meet and speak with his family.

61 Responses

  1. Oh Delhi,
    I used to judge so quickly the first or second wife who stayed in a relationship with a man that had so deceived them. How could they be so silly as to think that he really loved or cared about them or anyone else? Obviously, this type of guy only cares about himself and his own whims when it comes to love. As one of my friends describes it…he’s on the
    ‘flavor of the month’ gal…or ‘just another knotch in his belt’ mode. But living here so long, I have met and become friends with women who I have later found out to be a first or second wife who were duped, but decided to stay put in the relationship anyway. What am I to do? Should I dump these ladies as friends because they don’t think the way that I do about things, or should I support each woman as best as I can like any other friend? Many women I know run away from ladies at the first sight that they are in trouble and try to lead others to follow suit. The whispers start….’Oh, did you hear, poor dear…her husband has another wife….yes, she just found out….stay away from her….it’s too depressing. Or yes, …that witch is the second wife….stay away from her…..she’s stolen so and so’s husband away from her… could she? I stopped judging and started to support all women. We women need to stop pointing fingers at anyone but the ones who are to blame….the men involved. I have heard every excuse in the book….she unrobed in front of him and he couldn’t resist, his wife refuses him sex so he couldn’t resist, he got her pregnant so he had to marry her, he thought it would be good for his business so he married her.

    To the women who find out he’s already married, the excuses are generally about still having a first wife are usually along these lines…. she’s his cousin and he had no other option so he married her but he doesn’t really love her…..he never divorced her because she’s his cousin and it’s not allowed in their family….If he divorces her she’ll have to move back to her father’s house…….he doesn’t sleep with her anymore but he can’t divorce her because of the children….and so on.

    The reasons are many, but the story is always basically the same. The blame is always on someone else….some other woman. If women are smart, they’ll start to save their own money for their own very uncertain futures and stop enabling the men in their lives to continue to take advantage of their kindness.

  2. Good comments and advise A2S. You have seen much in your years here.

  3. […] Saudi Arabia, American Bedu shares the pain shared by the second wife. Posted by Amira Al Hussaini Share […]

  4. […] Bedu no mizara amin'ny mpamaky izay mety ho fahorian'ny vady faharoa any Aranbia Saodita : Following typical tradition she met him when he was outside of the Kingdom, […]

  5. You are right, it is all the men’s fault!!!
    And what to think of a woman who stays in such a relationship? One things seems clear whenever this subject comes up: the women involved are almost àlways very unhappy! Made unhappy by a selfish man. I think many are staying because women have more love and loyalty then men can concieve, or even notice, or deserve. And these men who only follow their secundary brain have the least right of being loved.
    And nobody come up with Sharia-law please: men are allowed more than wife conditionally only, and making wifes unhappy does not meet those conditions.
    It is not a weakness of women that they love and forgive and trust. It makes them closer to God. But our evil patriarchal societys have made these virtues into even more reasons to put women down. It’s always some womens fault.

    This also reminds me of the earlier post on lies, and on sexual repression: I’ve heard so many Arab women say:”Make sure you save money for the future” and ”Never trust your husband” ”Look after your own interest first; it can safe you later [when he has betrayed you]”
    How can you love your spouse if you always have to keep in mind he may betray you at any time, or may be doing so now?
    What a horrible coldness to have to live like that.
    I’d rather be dead.

    I bet if women in KSA could work, have careers, and be economically independent, many might not choose to marry at all, with so little real security finacially and in your heart. and if they could get divorced, and keep their children, and get alimony, there would be a lot less second marriages.

  6. This nearly happened to me. Thankfully, I listened to my mother when she asked me not to leave the country. Though she’s Arab, she didn’t want me living there without any support system.

    I only found out after my “interest,” had returned to Saudi Arabia that he was married, and yes, even his wife (whom he said he didn’t love), was pregnant with their second child.

    He gave me the same excuses you detailed, with one extra, “It was an arranged marriage, and she was his cousin, so he couldn’t break the family apart.” Yeah… he really had her interest in mind the whole time.

  7. There are many reasons for staying in a relationship in which the man has betrayed the woman with other wives. First of all, there are the children. I don’t think we grown people can appreciate the psychological trauma to children when their parents divorce, especially when one parent is from another country, and maybe has to go back.

    Another reason may be that a foreign wife no longer has a suitable support system in her own country, especially if she has no money of her own, or no quickly marketable skill.

    Then, second wives do not always know what they are getting into, even when they know the circumstances. I once knew an Amercian second wife who was naive enough to think that, “All men did it,” and married her Arab husband because she wanted an Arab husband. The first wife rejected her, and no end of troubles ensued.

    It is hard to support or be friends with women in this situation. It really is hard, unless you are also in it. The whole thing seems so unnatural, even though proponents of the practice will tell you it’s the most natural thing in the world, and historically very acceptable. I have my doubts.

  8. Marahm, I agree with you that it’s not easy to be friends with people in these situations. However, many times you are already friends with these types of women before they tell you what’s going on in their lives….or it happens after you have known her for many years. That’s when you realize how vulnerable you are in your own marriage. And as the years pass by, and you witness more and more, you come to understand the people involved and why they make the decisions they do. As stated above, not every woman has options—money, family, friends or other countries to help them start over, and things are never black and white especially when children or health issues are involved. I have learned to try to support my friends the best that I can no matter what they eventually decide to do, even if I don’t agree with them. After all, isn’t that what a true friend should do?

  9. True that it’s cultural to have more than one wife but at the very least he should have told her about it. There are some women who are fine to be second wives and there are some who do not. She should have been given that option so that when she entered the relationship she entered it with her eyes open.

  10. I agree with most of the comments, but I want to mention one thing when you wrote that women planning to marry Arabs should do a background check and speak with the family first.

    How on earth would one do that? For me it would have been very very hard to have spoken with my husband’s family, considering many of them do not speak sufficient English.

    I was lucky in that I have friends with Egyptian army connections who did a background check on my husband for me so I knew more going into my marriage than many women do, but lacking that same opportunity how would others do the same?

    While I agree that any woman getting involved with a temporary US resident needs to watch her back and keep her eyes open for a lot of warning signs, I don’t necessarily believe that most women will have the opportunity or ability to speak with his family first.

    Especially in a country where blood is always thicker than truth.

  11. “…blood is always thicker than truth.” Well said.
    Having been raised in a totally different culture, I can’t at all understand either side in these apparent commonplace melodramas. I can’t understand, or have respect for, a man who would so blatantly deceive a woman he claims to love by not telling her the truth about himself. And I can’t understand, or have respect for, a woman who, upon learning that her betrothed is no more than a cheap, egocentric liar, would choose to stay! Both are to blame, and love (real or imagined) has nothing to do with it! It’s all about trust. After all, how can you truly love someone – the ‘with all my heart’ kind of love – if you can’t trust them? You can’t! All you can do is fake it! And if you choose to play along with the charade, then you do so knowingly… and shamefully, as well!
    The men should be outed for the lying, manipulating jack-asses they are… publicly! (Not that it would make that much difference, evidently, in KSA) The women should reclaim their dignity, which is intact, for they were wrongfully deceived, and tell their charming prince to stick his magic carpet where the sun don’t shine! Publicly… if that can be done without a jail sentence attached to it.
    In Texas, men like that end up with teeth missing… usually accomplished by the fist of the woman they lied to! And not a soul to feel sorry for them about it. We all reap what we sow… and rightfully so!

  12. I personally reckon to the man, both women are his comodities. Or at least one of them is. He is a dick. It’s pretty obvious.

  13. Interesting reading the comments, who on earth are these ‘type’ of women anyway and why is it so difficult to remain friends? Cross cultural marriages are difficult and confusing full stop. Even if you are very good at ‘reading’ people you will be thrown when trying to read a man from a culture that you are not familiar with. The bit that people forget is that sometimes the man actually really believes what he is saying…and sometimes there really is an element of truth in it or even more than an element. So when trying to figure out if a man is being honest, half the time you will think yes, because the man himself has convinced himself that he is being so.

    Ultimately life, truth and relationships are not always as clear as we would like. What a woman going into any cross-cultural marriage (but particularly a western woman marrying an arab man) is that it is going to be hard work. The gulf in understanding each other is often going to be huge. don’t even worry about thinking about trust. trust has nothing to do with your comfort or ability to retain your own agency. you can trust a man because your sixth sense tells you that he is good. And he is, but his perspective about rights and roles and responsibilities may be very different than yours and he will be good in relation to his perspective.

    Also different environments bring out different characteristics in a man, he will be very different living in the West, when at home, he will be much more of a man from that social setting. So, what do you do if you love him? Prepare yourself for something complicated! no, I’m sure that it’s not always difficult…just bear in mind that it often is. Second wife or not a second wife.

  14. and I hate to say it, but money is important. The key to being able to retain your agency is being financially independent, or at least not being so dependent that you can’t cope without him. Unfortunately, two cultural patterns co-existing requires a certain level of cynicism. Things are quite often not as they seem, and this goes for both of you!

  15. Like so many other issues in Saudi, this one will only be resolved when the women of Saudi Arabia decide collectively they have had enough and will no longer put up with the male-imposed cultural guidelines – none of which benefit women in the least!

    With more women seeing the world outside Saudi, receiving better educations, gaining entrance into the workforce, thinking for themselves, and not surprisingly with increased access to the internet and blogs like this one, it’s only a matter of time before this next generation of women – raised with a healthy lack of respect for the so-called cultural norms of Saudi society – will start to demand their rights.

    For the naysayers out there, just look around. The women of Saudi Arabia are today pushing aside boundaries that only a few years ago were unimagined – just look at the dialogue here on polygamy! And yes, with each push forward by women, those people who have the most to lose are pushing back. That, more than anything else, is indicative of a cultural change that is sweeping across Saudi because of strong women who have finally found their voice.

    The day will come, I believe, when the men of Saudi Arabia will be held accountable for their behaviors and when the lies they tell to protect those behaviors will be seen for what they are rather than some religious right they alone have been granted.

    Until that day, women around the world should reach out to the women of Saudi Arabia; support them, encourage them and inspire them by example. Change happens, but it requires change-makers.

    Thanks, Carol, for bringing this topic forward

  16. Women, regardless of nationality or background, may find themselves in such a situation in the Kingdom as being one of multiple wives and at times, without their knowledge, acceptance or consent.

    Remember the Saudi husband is the mahrem or sponsor of his wives. And even if a non-Saudi wife, she will still require the concurrence of her husband to not only leave the Kingdom but to get out of the marriage. Yes; there are circumstances such as the woman asking her embassy for assistance to leave the country and getting a divorce outside of the Kingdom.

    However most foreign women, if choosing to leave and divorce their Saudi husband will usually do so with the clothes on their back and maybe a few suitcases. Some women may have been in the Kingdom many years, built a house with their husband or certainly made major contributions in terms of furnishings and other items. Sadly, these items will remain with the Saudi husband.

    Therefore a foreign woman who is extracting herself from such a situation will typically do so while forsaking any of the contributions (financial, material, etc) that SHE brought into the marriage. And a lot of foreign wives came to the Kingdom bringing all their possessions with them from their home country.

    I’m so many can image how if a woman is in her 40’s, 50’s and faced with starting over from ground zero — no possessions, no car, no home…. so I am not surprised to learn of women who are simply tolerating and biding time while they try to build up some kind of nest egg which will allow them to have a fresh start. Unlike the Eastern culture, it is not as widely accepted in the West for a grown woman to return back to the family fold “with tail between the legs” so to speak.

  17. Basically, having second wife is permitted in Islam. However, it has some conditions that let one (man) to do that. the most important thing we have to remember is that ;how can we do that if we are still “poor” in everything; wealthy, knowledge, power and all that can support to do that. and Can we (man) give a balance in everything to the wives?. Perhaps, we only who can measurre how good condition we have. I agree with this as long as one doing this has fulfilled the conditions I’ve told you


  18. […] المملكة العربية السعودية, المدونة بدوية أمريكية, تشاركنا الآلام التي تشعر بها الزوجة […]

  19. Saudi America

  20. Delhi, you hit the nail on the head in your last comment!

    Aafke, You wrote, ‘How can you love your spouse if you always have to keep in mind he may betray you at any time, or may be doing so now?
    What a horrible coldness to have to live like that. I’d rather be dead.’

    A woman falls head over heels in love and is carried off by her knight in shining armour who will honor and protect her, and they live happily ever after. (This is every woman’s dream….and the Arabian man looks the part!)
    And to be honest, I’d say most Saudi men really do live up to this dream. : )

    But, western women also go through a kind of ‘transformation’ here.
    We are all ‘taken care of’ and pampered. Many of us have everything done for us from cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, watching the children, driving, etc. so many of us become a mirror image of our independent selves (over the years) without even realizing it.

    Asking one of these women to go back to being a ‘super-mom’ in America, who does it all along with a full-time job, is impossible for most of them to fatham. And, as Delhi says, many times this happens in the later years of life when it’s more difficult to start over.

  21. The Chicago Sun Times picked up this post:

  22. THat’s great, Carol!

  23. Saha, You said, “Who on earth are these ‘types’ of women anyway?”

    You’d be surprised to know that these types of women are no different than you and me. Actually, most of the women it has happend to are college graduates. They are very intelligent women who ended up in these crazy situations.

    Like Lofter, I used to think, “But why don’t they just leave?” Well, like I said, the stories are very long and involved and it’s not quite so simple and easy as it looks.

    The best thing is for women to decide what they’d do from now in case things go wrong and start planning accordingly.

  24. yes, I know! That was my point, the comments were negative, as though there is a ‘type’ that does it, and she is just so hard to be friends with. I am such a woman actually(!), although I’m not in the middle east…yet.

  25. The sad thing is… that marriage began with a lie… or shall i say a very deceitful beginning… really makes me wonder how such a marriage can survive… but the heart has been known to make terrible decisions. Thank you for sharing this story…. it works as a warning, as well as helping people understand that the second wife.. isn’t as evil as we may think.. some as you have illustrated were tricked into this position.

    BTW.. I frequent your blog… and Love it!

  26. Saha, Om Lujain,

    Thank you both for your comments and welcome to the blog!


  27. …once again… deceit was legally and religiously (in Islam) possible… and what is allowed, will be done over and over again… how sad… is there a way out, except getting a divorce after the fact? or you just have to be ALWAYS suspicious?

  28. Iwka, women in poly marriages can petition for divorce. Islamically she should be let out of the marriage, although there are many culturally-driven communities make it harder on her.

    You sound like you have a negative impression of Islam, I just hope that you would give someone the chance to show you the difference between cultural Islam, and REAL Islam.

    Its a big huge difference.

  29. I feel sad for the Saudi woman. This article and the sadness in it probably is true for woman born and raised in the Kingdom. It is absurd that the woman have to be virgins for the men to want them and so the family doesn’t disown them. Yet it is perfectly fine for a man to have multiple wives. I am sure this feels very degrading for the first, second, third wife and so on. Even if the woman wants a divorce it is not as easy as one might think. Men basically snap their fingers and it is over. Woman have to get permission. It makes me sick that Saudi woman have to live like this. My heart goes out to you. Makes me so angry at these men!!

  30. Great blog Carol.

    I recently shared on this topic, as it has so many facets. When coming to Kuwait a couple of decades ago, I walked in with no judgement.

    I was exposed from day one, to polygamy with my former spouse’s family. Oddly enough, I waited a long time to make any judgements, but basically observed.

    Years later some of my other American friends said they were too embarassed to comment at the time, but they were in shock at the very blase way I would introduce the other wives in the family.

    I will sum up my observations on Arab and Americans I’ve known in polygamous marriages……the outcome was never happy for the women.

    The first wife goes through a humiliated period after he ”marries on her” and the second wife, depends on the story. Most are called homebreakers or other not printable metaphors. 🙂

    The children resent sharing their father, resent what was done to their mother, resent sharing inheritance, income, etc.

    Sorry, I will now say, it’s hardly an ideal marriage, and I personally would have not accepted it.

  31. Welcome, Viking Daughter and thanks for your comments.

    As an American, what was it like for you when you were introduced firsthand to polygamy in the family? What kind of relationships did you have with the wives? Did they receive equal treatment in your observation?

  32. Safa’s (Muslim woman in Canada) blog about life in polygamous marriage.

  33. Iwka – thanks for sharing the link. Safa’s blog is a powerful read.

  34. Thanks for sharing these feelings and bringing out teh pain of being second wife with revealing he rael culprit behind the whole scence which is always a man. A man who always try to get his mean by decieving others, so he decieves his first wife, his family and second one. But most of times second wife is considered as responsible in such communities or why she did not think or why ect etc. When in love who can think? from a teen to a amture age person and this phenonmenon is true for most of the human beings especially women. Anyway this si something which happens and then the only who suffers teh most is teh second wife. What i suffered in alst few months only I know and what i see in future is all suffering, ins pite of all this I still love my husband and wish he could be honest and truthfull person so i should have been able to recpect him too. And thanks for advising on economic indepnce and all, This does not happen to poor or uneducated always. Issues are above than money and finances only. It is hard to exalin the life of such a woman and realise the pain she feels especially for those who can not understand the culture and who have not expericned this. If people here can only understand one thing that second wife is not a homewreker but a decived woman facing great pain, will be enough for now to make the pain little easy to bear. thanks

  35. Secondtoo — welcome to the blog and thanks for sharing. It is hard to give advise to someone when not in their shoes. I note your comments about the pain now and likely for the future. If there are no children involved in your relationship, have you considered simply extracting yourself from it? I’m sure that it is not easy to unconditionally continue to love someone who has not been honest or fair? These comments are not meant to be critical or to even deserve a response but words to think about.

    Wish you all the best.

  36. […] The Second Wife – She too Feels Pain So she’s a second wife? She probably knew what she was getting in to then entering into a relationship with a man who already had commitments such as another wife and a family. Most individuals likely refer to her as a homewrecker and wonder why she could not cast her net out for a single man. But you might be surprised…she too has her own story, circumstances and yes, even pain. [Who is this, Oprah!?] […]

  37. Does anyone know about a blog, book or web site of a polygamist wife, from an Islamic background, that is truly content, happy, fulfilled etc? I am searching for some reliable, positive stories. Thanks.

  38. LOL! Good luck, hope you have lots of time for research.

  39. I have yet to see or hear of such a site. Good luck!

  40. Islam is a beautiful religion. People are not perfect. Men have the ability to love more than one woman, this is from the wisdom of Allah. My husband has two wives, it is his right. He is not a criminal. He is practicing his religion and the sunnah of the prophet (sallah lahu alayhi wa salaam). I love my co-wife for the sake of Allah and she loves me for His sake also. This thing of polygamy is much bigger than ourselves and our feelings and our upbringings. We have to be big woman and submit to Allahs will;when this is done, then one can see and feel the blessing of polygamy. Ok, maybe the man should’ve been ‘straight up’ with the second wife and told her about his life and his marriage, but this is his choice islamically, in the religion he doesn’t have to disclose this info. The scholars of Islam say that it is better to disclose everything but it is not wajib(obligatory). I think there is a big stigma attached to polygamy that a lot of woman can’t let go of- you have to be pretty special and mature enough to let a lot of things go in order to expierence the blessings that come with plural marriage. It helps alot when the man is living the right way and fearing Allah and following the sunnah of the prophet (salla lahu alayhi wa salaam) . Fairness and knowledge of his/her religion is the key to a happy and successful plural marriage. There are plenty of groups that represent polygamy positivly. I can’t think of the correct names now but most of them are on yahoogroups. Just type in muslimahs in polygamy and see what comes up.

  41. @Tralen – Welcome to the blog and thank you for sharing your views.

  42. Oh Dear Sister, I am in the same situation. I married the man of my dreams only one month into the marriage I found out he was still married in Egypt. He told me he was divorced for the last three years. He talked the talk, won me over, but then couldn’t walk the walk. I was devastated. How can you trust a man that came into your marriage on a lie. He had many times to tell me but chose not to. So what did he do? He packed his clothes and left. Moved me to a town in the USA HE wanted to be in and left me here. No friends, no job. I pray to Allah(swt) for him and for me, that we all get our just rewards and that Allah(swt) guide us all to the purpose for what we endure.

  43. @Malak – I’m sorry to hear what had happened to you. My advice is for you to take control and make sure you are the one in direction of your life and what you need for survival and happiness.

    I hope all the best for you.

  44. I’m sorry to hear that, too. I know this doesn’t help you any in this situation, but maybe it will help others to realize that it’s really important to have someone ask about a man before marriage – someone who really will find out the facts about him (and his family) and tell you the truth.

  45. @munaqabah – you raise a very good and valid point. Now here is my question to you and others… if a woman is not Saudi but a foreigner and she meets her Saudi outside of the Kingdom, what resources does she have to obtain valid and truthful information such as his status, his values, his integrity and honesty?

  46. @AmericanBedu,

    It is not easy even for a Saudi to make certain a man is not married. These records cannot be easily gotten. A man can marry another woman and not register it with the Interior Ministry. The actual marriage contract is filed with the local court office, but you have to look through all the offices to obtain such records and that is if you are allowed access (an impossible task). There are many cases where men have been caught marrying more than 4 wives. The only reason they are discovered is a complaint. A foreign wife has even a steeper hill to climb as she would not even know these facts even if it is commonly known in the community due to distance and not having local contacts.

  47. @Saudi in US – Ouch! I know that there are many many good guys in Saudi but for the few bad apples, I hope that this post and these comments help foreign women understand the complexities of being a foreigner involved with a Saudi.

  48. The Ministry of Justice (which authorizes marriage contacts through Marriage Conductors “مأذون النكاح”) is now registering all new marriage contracts in their own database… so if a guy marries a girl in Farasan Island you should know about this once you inquire about him in the MJ’s database through his National Identification Number. This is a part of the “Yesser” program which strives to make all businesses in the government done through electronic channels. Moreover, all government agencies will be linked (electronically) together in order to make accurate and complete data about all citizens, and also to facilitate processes and procedures. For example, the photo I have on my driving license was obtained from the passports database (i.e. it is the photo I submitted when I renewd my passport), so I didn’t have to submit new photos for my driving license!

  49. It’s not always easy to check the guy out, but she should have a wali who should do all he can to ask about him among his friends, family, at his workplace, etc., as much as he can. Also, I always advise women to meet his mother and sisters, if at all possible (or at the very least have some contact with them); this lets her know if they are going to welcome her, and if she feels comfortable with them. If he’s married and doesn’t want anyone to know that he’s marrying again, he won’t want that contact made.

    Some men will offer references, for example, well-known sheikhs or imams that know them.

    (In this case, where someone is asking about a person for marriage, it’s required to tell the truth – good or bad. Unfortunately, a man’s friends and family often just give the good side and aren’t really truthful, so the wali has to dig, in the same way that he would for his own daughter.)

    In the cases that Saudi in US mentioned, where the man is married but it’s not publicly known, she probably won’t be able to find out, though.

  50. Nader, That is good news and thanks for the info. Also, in all fairness it is hard to check on if someone is already married in the US. As there is no central data bank for the info.

  51. Nader-that is good news all around, both for checking marriage, divorce, and death records and for simplifying and making more accurate bureaucratic procedures for Saudi nationals.
    US and Canadian vital statistics records-birth, marriage, divorce, death-can be searched by state/province or through genealogical search engines that search each country, and others by country.
    The only problem I see is with privacy and access to information laws which for example allow access to the records of biological ancestors (parents, grandparents) but not even siblings, so perhaps not just anyone else you might be interested in.

    Munaqabah-good examples of the types and limits of “on the ground research”. Other strategies that I’ve known others to use are to ask the neighbourhood grocer, barber, etc. about the whole family and then the individual.

  52. @Nader – that is great to know. My question though is whether someone not associated with the MJ can check the database if they have the NIC number? Would a request from a woman or representative for her be honored?

    @Munaqabah – you offer excellent advice and guidance although I think it would still be difficult if the future wife (and wali) are outside of KSA to do thorough checks. And I agree….of course family members from both sides will cite only the positive aspects of their loved one! (smile)

  53. […] multiple wives.  It is also not uncommon to know and become friends with women who may be first, second, third or fourth wives. Is there a distinction though among female circle of friends when knowing […]

  54. […] with his wife.  The man wanting to be honorable will wish to marry the other woman as a second wife so he may have a halal relationship with her.  It is debatable through on whether his honor would […]

  55. Who says that all women would not want to be a second wife? There are women who would not mind it at all..It is legal in Islam to have a second wife. Just because polygamy it is not the norm in the US, does not make it bad or wrong. These second wives are treated great and it is there choice to stay in the relationship. If this women is so unhappy, she can leave. I just hate when people put something down just because it is not the norm to them. You dont have to participate or even agree with it…Just dont knock it and make it look so bad just because it is not the norm to you. The fornication that takes place in the US is something that is respected and accepted by Americans because it is the norm. And fornication is a sin in Christianity. These same people who knock polygamy prob allow there son or daughter to have a girlfreind or boyfreind, know they have sex, and are ok with it. Why? Because its the norm? Is sex before marriage not disrespectful or degrading..especially to women?You need to help solve your problems and quit being hypocrites or close minded. These second wives do it by choice and its not a sin in Islam…So respect that.

  56. When the second wife was lied to- I have no problem with her- unless she stays when there are no children involved, in which case she should get out ASAP. Love is not enough and becomes irrelevant in a situation like this.

    If co-wives really chose to be in a polygamous relationship (ie. not merely accept it because they are hostage to economic/child custody issues), I don’t have a problem, though religiously it probably doesn’t meet the rather narrow parameters that allow more than one wife.

    If the second wife KNEW about the first wife- I have no sympathy at all and I will not associate with her. I don’t care if she was “in love” or thought “everyone does it” or whatever. She made a choice and she can live with the consequences- and most likely she is a homewrecker.

    Also just to support what’s been written- it is VERY hard to find out how many wives a man has if he doesn’t want to be upfront.

    I also find it interesting that people think polygamy somehow resolves the issue of fornication/adultry. Men with two wives are just as capable of cheating as those with one. A cheater is a cheater regardless of how many wives.

  57. While I will never and have never condoned casual sex…I will never understand the punishment meted out…either emotionally, physically or reputation wise concerning unmarried sex. What the hell is the big deal really?

    Could someone please explain the very real crime being committed when unmarried sex takes place? Human beings invented marriage. Before that we just hung out together cause we liked each other…shared a cave…a tent…a tree house. Then along come religous folk who declare that a man and a woman have to sign a piece of paper before they can have sex…and suddenly sex is the WORST sin people can do in the eyes of OTHER people.

    I dont understand it. Anyone?

  58. Sandy, I think polygamy is adultery. Condoned by religious leaders, but to the women it is pure adultery.
    I don’t see why people get so riled up about sex.
    Sex is natural. Humans are made to like and have lots of sex. It’s mainly the later patriarchal religions who go so berserk about it. And especially about women having sex of course, for men there are different rules. It’s all about ownership and control over women. In older religions, especially where the Goddess was worshiped people had a much more natural and healthy attitude towards sex.

    Tarick, the only women who want to be second wives are brainwashed ”reverts” or really mean bitches and home wreckers. Not the best examples of humanity.

  59. call me old fashioned but I think the sharing of each others body is the greatest gift and connection one can give (other than a child) so to me being intimate is far more than S E X

  60. I am also a 2nd wife to a dashing Arab man who deceived me. It’s hell in a hand basket. You can read about my story and even share it at

  61. i am an expat working here in ksa, and i can say that it would be very hard for a foreign woman to do a background check on her saudi guy much more to talk to his family. the woman must at least know someone from his set of friends who are also from saudi arabia who can really help her. with regards to the family, most of them here come from tribes and they marry off their sons/ daughters with their cousins. these tribal families barely understand and speak english or they cannot totally understand or speak english! they are bound by their customs and traditions. my case is a concrete example, i fell in love with a saudi guy who was working with me, he wants to marry me but unfortunately his parents do not want to allow him to marry someone outside of their family, he tried desperately to persuade them until they made the final move…last week they engaged my boyfriend with his first cousin! I felt so devastated, knowing that we love each other without doubt, i told him i would be willing to be his second wife:(
    i have lived my life believing i would be the one and only wife…but circumstances and reasons changed… i’m citing an example of how women become second wives…not just by deceit…or by financial problems…people fall in love too, call me stupid…but if you were in my shoes, and felt the same way…would u give it up?

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